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Former Bank Employee Gets $4 Million Damages Award in Whistleblower Retaliation Case


Everywhere you look, it is easy to see the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer.  Compared to a generation ago, many young people have written off homeownership and university education as prohibitively expensive dreams, whereas they used to be hallmarks of middle-class life.  Most people don’t get a chance to see up close what the rich actually do to enrich themselves.  When you find out, it is quite disturbing to see how people in powerful positions so brazenly act as though the rules do not apply to them.  When you are an employee of a bank, it is your job to be responsible with other people’s money.  You can and should report mishandling of funds to regulators, but unfortunately, your fears of backlash are reasonable.  Reporting misconduct within your organization to government regulators is a legally protected activity, which means that it is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for it.  For advice about your rights before and after you report misconduct at your workplace to regulators, contact a Los Angeles whistleblower protection lawyer.

Plaintiff Reported Bank CEO’s Misconduct to the OCC

A court in Southern California awarded compensatory damages to a bank auditor who alleged that his employer fired him in retaliation for reporting misconduct by the bank’s CEO to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  In early 2015, the plaintiff and his direct supervisor began to suspect that the bank’s CEO was concealing information from regulators.  In one instance, the CEO instructed the plaintiff to take certain hard copy files and a USB drive home from the bank, presumably so that regulators would not find out about them.  In February 2015, the plaintiff’s direct supervisor confronted the CEO about the suspected misconduct during a closed-door meeting and immediately resigned.  Another issue that concerned the plaintiff was that the biggest trust at the bank belonged to the CEO’s brother, whose employment would not have yielded nearly enough money to account for all the assets in the trust, which led the plaintiff to suspect that the bank CEO was using the trust as a front for his own activities.

The plaintiff took a medical leave, during which he contacted the OCC’s whistleblower hotline about his suspicions and sent them the documents to which he had access.  By the time his medical leave had ended, the bank had fired him. The plaintiff sued the bank for whistleblower retaliation and received a damages award of $1.5 million.  The bank appealed, and the CEO sued the plaintiff personally, and by the end of those legal cases, the court had awarded the plaintiff a total of $4 million, including the original award in the original whistleblower retaliation case.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer

A Los Angeles employer retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer terminated your employment after you reported misconduct that you witnessed at your workplace.  Contact Litigation, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.


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